Attending a production of Verdi's "I Masnadieri" was a highlight of a recent six-day stay in Venice. I went expecting to be awed by the jewel-box delight that is the new Fenice (90 million Euro cost, seating capacity 1,000), but also expecting a less-than-stellar production.
My expections about the building itself were fully met (its classical elegance is reminiscent of the Mikhailovsky Theatre in St. Petersburg). Quite unexpectedly, however, I was overwhelmed, by the overall experience of the production: The orchestra was first rate, the conducting energetic, the chorus robust, and the singing by all four principals world-class. In short, it was a production that New York's Metropolitan Opera would have been proud of--on a good night.
So opera lovers, fear not: a night at La Fenice will not be a dutiful obligation, but a delight!
(Incidentally, I purchased my tickets months in advance online from a secondary ticket agent in Milan(Basket Viaggi). While pricey, the seats I bought were as advertised--side boxes, first row--and I was able to print them out at home before leaving for Venice.)
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